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How to Root Photinia Cuttings

By Jennifer Loucks ; Updated September 21, 2017
Growing containers

Photinia is a multi-stemmed small tree or large shrub that grows to a height and spread of 12 feet. The tree is native to areas of Asia and India and produces glossy, evergreen leaves that turn burgundy in color in the fall season. White clusters of flowers form on the end of the branches and stay in bloom for two to three weeks. Photinia is propagated by taking semi-hardwood cuttings in midsummer from stems that are beginning to mature.

Take 6- to 8-inch semi-hardwood cuttings with a sharp knife from new growth on the photinia tree. Cut sections from the top portion of the tree where the stem is beginning to harden and mature. Place the stems in a damp paper towel and store them in a plastic bag until all cuttings are taken.

Remove the leaves from the lower half of the stem cutting. Cut all large leaves remaining on the cutting in half vertically to reserve moisture in the cuttings.

Prepare rooting medium by mixing together even quantities of sterile peat moss, perlite and coarse sand. Dampen the medium with water and fill it into the rooting tray.

Dip the cut end of the photinia cutting into powdered rooting hormone. Tap the end of the cutting to remove excess hormone. Stick the cutting into the tray of rooting medium to a depth of 3 to 4 inches. Space the cuttings so the leaves do not touch.

Mist the rooting medium and photinia cuttings with water and cover the tray with a clear plastic bag. Place the tray in a warm location that offers indirect sunlight. The top of a refrigerator works well if light is available.

Open the plastic bag two to three times a week to refresh the air around the cuttings. Monitor the moisture level of the medium to prevent it from drying out. Mist the tray with water as needed.

Pull on the photinia cuttings after six weeks of growth to see if there is resistance from the formation of roots. Transplant the cuttings to 4-inch individual growing containers filled with sterile potting soil once the roots reach a length of 1 inch. Continue to grow the cuttings in a protected environment for the first year.


Things You Will Need

  • Sharp knife
  • Paper towel
  • Plastic bags
  • Water
  • Sterile peat moss
  • Perlite
  • Coarse sand
  • Rooting tray
  • Powdered rooting hormone
  • Water mister
  • 4-inch growing containers
  • Sterile potting soil
  • Bleach


  • Disinfect propagation tools and containers by washing them in a solution of nine parts water and one part bleach. Let the tools dry prior to using them.

About the Author


Jennifer Loucks has been writing since 1998. She previously worked as a technical writer for a software development company, creating software documentation, help documents and training curriculum. She now writes hobby-based articles on cooking, gardening, sewing and running. Loucks also trains for full marathons, half-marathons and shorter distance running. She holds a Bachelor of Science in animal science and business from University of Wisconsin-River Falls.